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WHAT'S HAPPENING

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System Begins Screening for COVID-19 at Entrances

WATERTOWN, S.D. March 24, 2020 – To further decrease the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the region, Prairie Lakes Healthcare System (PLHS) will start screening staff, patients, and visitors entering the facilities starting Wednesday, March 25. Staff will screen those entering the hospital at the east (emergency room and surgical services) entrance and main lobby entrance. Screening will also be present at the Prairie Lakes Specialty Clinic entrance, Prairie Lakes Cancer Center entrance, and Prairie Lakes Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic entrance at Mallard Pointe. All other entrances will be locked. Hours of entrances: o East entrance (ER and surgical services entrance): 24/7 access o Main hospital lobby entrance: 5:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday o Prairie Lakes Specialty Clinic, Prairie Lakes Cancer Center, and Prairie Lakes Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic entrances: normal business hours Screening is different from testing for the virus. Hospital staff screeners will take the temperature of those entering the facilities and will ask a series of questions related to COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. The screening will help protect community members, patients, and staff. Community members can help keep each other safe and healthy by following appropriate self-care guidelines provided by the South Dakota Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the unified Watertown Area Task Force. -END-

Governor Noem signs executive order to limit spread of COVID-19

NOW, THEREFORE, I, KRISTI NOEM,Governor of the State of South Dakota, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of this State, including but not limited to SDCL 34-48A, do hereby Order and Direct the following:

Every South Dakotan should:

1.  Review and practice the recommended CDC hygiene practices designed to stop the spread of the disease COVID-19 and encourage others to do so as well.

2.  Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, call a health care provider if suffering symptoms in advance of a visit to a provider, and stay at home if sick.

3.  Understand that those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, including those over age 60 and those suffering from respiratory or cardiac conditions, should take extra precautions and remain home if possible.

4.  Implement social distancing measures and support businesses who are adjusting their business model to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

5.  Assist those who work in essential jobs such as emergency personnel, medical professionals, and law enforcement.

All employers, both for profit and not-for-profit, within the State of South Dakota should:

6.  Implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices and other business strategies designed to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease.

7.  Understand that the COVID-19 is not a short-term challenge, and operations will need to endure a difficult and limited social environment for potentially eight weeks or more.

8.  Innovate and continue to demonstrate entrepreneurial excellence in their operations during this difficult and uncertain environment.

9.  Encourage staff to telework if possible, implement social distancing measures, limit unnecessary work gatherings, limit non-essential travel, and consider regular health checks including CDC guidance for COVID-19 screening if possible.

10.  Offer, to the extent possible, special shopping times or access periods for populations particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Any “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” within the State of South Dakota should:

11.  Suspend or modify business practices as recommended by CDC guidance that involve ten or more people to be in an enclosed space where physical separation of at least six feet is not possible.

12.  Continue offering or consider offering business models that do not involve public gatherings, including takeout, delivery, drive-through, curb-side service, off-site services, social distancing models, or other innovative business practices that do not involve public gatherings in an enclosed space.

13.  Consider business arrangements and innovative ideas intended to support the critical infrastructure sectors, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.

For the purpose of sections 11 through 13, an “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” means any enclosed facility operating as a bar, restaurant, brewery, cafe, casino, coffee shop, recreational or athletic facility, health club, or entertainment venue.

All healthcare organizations within the State of South Dakota should:

14.  Implement or Continue to follow CDC guidanceand maintaintheir exceptional efforts to prepare for the expected surge of patients needing health care services as a result of the COVID-19 disease.

15.  Postpone all non-essential elective surgeries to conserve (and thereby maximize) supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).

All local and municipal governments within the State of South Dakota should:

16.  Implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices and public employee arrangements designed to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease, and take action based on facts, data, and science.

17.  Restrict public gatherings of ten people or more, unless it is necessary.

18.  Review the business practices of each “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” in their community for compliance with this Executive Order and protect the ability of those businesses to innovate.

19.  Encourage entrepreneurial innovation in the private sector to provide employment opportunities to protect the continued operation of the free market consistent with recommended CDC hygiene practices and understand that COVID-19 will impact their communities for potentially eight weeks or more.

20.  Protect the critical infrastructure sectors, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services, pharmaceutical industry, and food supply entities, as these sectors have a special responsibility to maintain their normal work schedule.

Limitations:

  1. This Order should be read in conjunction with the list that is attached to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) memorandum dated March 19, 2020.
  2. This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the State of South Dakota, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
  3. Sovereign nations within the borders of South Dakota should review the matters set forth herein and make their own decisions in accordance with tribal law.
  4. This Order is based on developing data, facts, and science and may be rescinded or amended, and shall expire on the earlier of when revoked, superseded, or automatically on May 2, 2020.

 

Codington County Initiates Unified Measures to Prepare for Coronavirus

 

 

 

WATERTOWN, S.D. – March 17, 2020– Vital organizations in Codington County met to unify procedures in preparation for community members to test positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Codington County.  COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. People with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

Collaboration for Safety

A collaborated effort between organizations improves safety preparedness. Representatives from county, city, school, and healthcare organizations were present, including: Brown Clinic, City of Watertown, Codington County Emergency Management, Codington County Sheriff’s Office, Codington County Commissioners, Lake Area Technical Institute, Prairie Lakes Healthcare System, Quick Care, Sanford Health – Watertown, Watertown City Council, Watertown Fire Rescue, Watertown Police Department, and Watertown School District.

 

The unified organizations recommend all community members to take appropriate measures in preparation of COVID-19 to protect those most at risk: people with chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, underlying heart and lung diseases, or other immune compromising conditions, adults ages 65 and older, and children. Social distancing, as described later, is especially important for people with chronic conditions and adults ages 80 and older as they are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19.

 

 

Recommended Measures

Community members should prepare by learning about COVID-19 through reliable resources provided by the CDC and staying calm. These recommendations and other updates will be posted as available on the newly created Facebook page “2020 Watertown Covid-19”. Follow the Facebook Page to receive the latest information.

The CDC and South Dakota Department of Health (SD DOH) always recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together until they are dry.
    • For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Social Distancing
    • Avoid close contact with others.
      • Limit physical contact, including handshakes.
      • Limit in-person meetings.
      • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough into the crook of your arm. Remember to wash your hands.
  • Regular household cleaning spray or wipes can be used to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Facemasks:
    • CDC and SD DOH do not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever to help prevent the spread of disease.

COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Those with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever.

 

If you develop symptoms:

  1. Stay home from work and activities.
    1. Avoid contact with other people and sharing personal items.
  2. Monitor your symptoms.
    1. If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider.
  3. Call your primary care physician via phone and tell them about any recent travel or exposure.
    1. Contacting your healthcare provider via phone before going to a clinic or hospital helps prevent spread in the community.
  4. Follow the directions of your provider and public health officials.

 

-END-

CONTACTS:                                                                                                                

Nic Ahmann

Public Information Officer

Watertown Police Department

NAhmann@watertownpd.com

605.882.6210

 

Jennifer Bender

Director of Marketing

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System

Jennifer.Bender@prairielakes.com
605.882.6860

605.838.7098 (cell)

 

 


Jennifer Bender
Director of Marketing
Prairie Lakes Healthcare System
401 9th Ave. NW Watertown, SD 57201
605-882-6860
Jennifer.Bender@prairielakes.com

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System Readies Measures to Manage Corona virus Cases

 

WATERTOWN, S.D. – March 11, 2020– Prairie Lakes Healthcare System is actively working with the South Dakota Department of Health (SD DOH) and the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stay prepared to manage coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

 

Facts About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. People with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.  According to the CDC:

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Spread primarily occurs person to person who are in prolonged personal contact with each other.
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (within about 6 feet).
  • Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects may be possible.
    • By touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
    • This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

People at greatest risk of dying from COVID-19 include:

·        people with chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, underlying heart and lung diseases, or other immune compromising conditions,

·        the elderly, and

·        children.

 

What you can do to avoid exposure

Community members should prepare by learning about COVID-19 through reliable resources provided by the CDC and staying calm. The CDC and SD DOH always recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Wash your handsoften with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together until they are dry.
    • For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.


  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough into the crook of your arm. Remember to wash your hands.
  • Regular household cleaning spray or wipes can be used to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


  • Facemasks:
    • CDC and SD DOH do not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever to help prevent the spread of disease.

Traveler recommendations from the South Dakota Department of Health
Travelers returning from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea should self-monitor for 14 days for novel coronavirus symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) and contact the SD DOH at 800-592-1861 if they develop symptoms to aid coordination of care.

 

Healthcare at the Ready

A collaborated effort between the CDC, SD DOH, and Prairie Lakes Healthcare System improves safety preparedness. “We’re prepared to deliver safe care,” said Shannon Britt, Infection Control Nurse. Britt manages Prairie Lakes Healthcare System’s infection control program which focuses on methods to safeguard patients and team members alike from contracting infectious disease. Britt continued, “If you have respiratory symptoms or are feeling ill, please do not come to the hospital to visit others.”

 

In addition to daily communication with proper authorities, Britt is keeping Prairie Lakes Healthcare System prepared with COVID-19 updates. Staff is trained to safely accommodate patients with infectious diseases. If a local COVID-19 case is suspected, Prairie Lakes Healthcare System has the proper facilities and is trained in the workflow with the CDC and SD DOH, and will collaborate with other partners and local authorities as needed.

 

 

COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Those with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever.

 

If you develop symptoms (from the South Dakota Department of Health):

  • Call your health care provider immediately via phone and tell them about any recent travel or exposure.
    • Contacting your healthcare provider via phone before going to a clinic or hospital helps prevent spread.
  • Avoid contact with other people.
  • Follow the directions of your provider and public health officials.

 

 

-END-

Reliable Resources

As you prepare for COVID-19, accurate, easy-to-understand information is critical. Check out these links to reliable information to help protect yourself, your family and your community from coronavirus.


FAQS ON COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FAQs

•  How COVID-19 spreads (CDC)

• What are the symptoms of COVID-19? (CDC)

• How to prevent COVID-19 (CDC)

• Share facts about COVID-19 (CDC)

• Get your household ready for coronavirus (CDC)

• Coronavirus disease-2019 and children (CDC)

• Guidance for businesses and employers (CDC)

• Travel Guidance (CDC)

 

Fact Sheets, Graphics and Videos

• What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (CDC)

• What the public should do (CDC)

• Stop the spread of germs (CDC)

• COVID-19 YouTube videos (CDC)

• Hand-washing videos (CDC)

 

 


Jennifer Bender
Director of Marketing
Prairie Lakes Healthcare System
401 9th Ave. NW Watertown, SD 57201
605-882-6860
Jennifer.Bender@prairielakes.com

Disaster Loan Fund Program in South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. - Governor Kristi Noem and her team are working closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program in South Dakota. This program would help eligible businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19. “We are working very closely with the SBA to ensure that South Dakota companies negatively impacted by Covid-19 have access to economic assistance,” said Noem. “This is unchartered territory for everyone, including the SBA, but my economic development team stands ready to help businesses and counties work through this process. I’m extremely thankful for the quick response and strong leadership that President Trump and his team at SBA are providing.” DETAILS: Affected small businesses and non-profits need to download, complete, and submit this SBA EIDL Worksheet and Instructions to expedite activation of the EIDL program. Completed forms may be submitted by email to goedinfo@state.sd.us. Please note, this initial survey form is not a SBA loan application. When the EIDL program is activated, businesses will be contacted to apply directly to the SBA.

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